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The Things They Carried Summary
Tim O'Brien

Everything you need to understand or teach The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien.

  • The Things They Carried Summary & Study Guide
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  • 22 Literature Criticism
  • 1 Book Note
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  • 30 The Things They Carried Lessons
  • 20 Activities
  • 180 Multiple Choice Questions
  • 60 Short Essay Questions
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The Things They Carried Summary


First published in Esquire in August, 1986, and later collected in The Best American Short Stories 1987, "The Things They Carried" became the lead story in a book of the same name published in 1990 by Viking Penguin. Since Tim O'Brien had already established himself as a literary voice to be reckoned with, this collection of interrelated stories received a great deal of attention. The book quickly established O'Brien as one of the leading figures in Vietnam literature.

Critics and readers alike have paid considerable attention to the question of whether the events in the book are literally true or products of O'Brien's imagination. Though O'Brien has made it clear in interviews that he believes the truth in literature has nothing to do with what actually happened, the similarities between his writing and his experience in Vietnam are striking. When O'Brien published the disturbing and confessional article "The Vietnam in Me" in...

(read more from the Study Guide)

Study Pack

The The Things They Carried Study Pack contains about 616 pages of study material in 52 products, including:

The Things They Carried Study Guide

Lesson Plan

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The Things They Carried Lesson Plans contain 140 pages of teaching material, including:

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